No IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT. Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, et al.

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1 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 1 No IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, et al. Plaintiffs-Appellants v. Honorable Judge Barry G. Lawrence, et al. Defendants and Appellees APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH THE HONORABLE JUDGE ROBERT J. SHELBY NO. 2:16-CV RJS BRIEF OF APPELLEE LYNN D. BECKER David K. Isom (Utah 4773) ISOM LAW FIRM PLLC 299 South Main Street, Suite 1300 Salt Lake City, Utah Telephone: (801)

2 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF AUTHORITIES... iii STATEMENT OF PRIOR OR RELATED APPEALS... 1 JURISDICTIONAL STATEMENT... 1 STATEMENT OF ISSUES PRESENTED FOR REVIEW... 2 STATEMENT OF THE CASE... 2 STANDARD OF REVIEW... 8 SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT... 8 I. NO SECTION 1331 JURISDICTION FOR THE FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT TO ADJUDICATE THE SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES:... 8 II. NO SECTION 1331 JURISDICTION FOR THE FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT TO DETERMINE ISSUES PENDING IN THE STATE COURT:... 9 III. NO COMPLETE PREEMPTION:... 9 ARGUMENT... 9 I. THIS COURT S PRIOR BECKER DECISION FORECLOSES FEDERAL QUESTION JURISDICTION HERE... 9 i

3 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 3 II. LIKE IMMUNITY UNDER FEDERAL LAW, AN INDIAN TRIBE S ASSERTED IMMUNITY FROM STATE COURT JURISDICTION DOES NOT CREATE FEDERAL QUESTION JURISDICTION...14 III. THERE IS NO COMPLETE PREEMPTION HERE...15 CONCLUSION...17 ORAL ARGUMENT...17 CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE...18 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE...19 ii

4 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 4 CASES TABLE OF AUTHORITIES Becker v. Ute Indian Tribe, Becker v. Ute Indian Tribe, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS , (D. Utah, Nov. 5, 2013)... 5 Becker v. Ute Indian Tribe, 770 F.3d 944 (10th Cir. 2014)... 1, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15 Cardtoons, L.C. v. Major League Baseball Players Ass n., 95 F.3d 959, (10th Cir. 1996)...16 City of Oneida v. Oneida Indian Nation, 414 U.S. 661 (1974)... 5, 9, 10, 11 City of Oneida v. Oneida Indian Nation, 470 U.S. 226 (1985)...10 Community State Bank v. Strong, 651 F.3d 1241 (11th Cir. 2011)...16 Devon v. Energy Production Co. v. Mosaic Potash Carlsbad, Inc., (10th Cir. 2012)...16 Gully v. First National Bank 299 U.S. 109 (1936)...10 Oklahoma Tax Commission v. Graham 489 U.S. 838 (1989)...14 State of Oklahoma ex rel. Oklahoma Tax Commission v. Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma, 919 F.2d 1449 (10th Cir. 1990)...14 United States v. Noble, 237 U.S. 74 (1915)...12 iii

5 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 5 STATUTES 25 U.S.C , U.S.C U.S.C U.S.C U.S.C U.S.C U.S.C U.S.C U.S.C. 1360(a)... 12, 13 RULES DUCivR 7-1(b)(2)(A)...15 iv

6 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 6 STATEMENT OF PRIOR OR RELATED APPEALS There are two related appeals: Becker v. Ute Indian Tribe, , 770 F.3d 944 (10 th Cir. 2014) and Becker v. Ute Indian Tribe, JURISDICTIONAL STATEMENT This Court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C Plaintiffs/appellants the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah & Ouray Reservation and affiliated entities (jointly the Utes ) alleged jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C (federal question), 1343 (civil rights), 1362 (action by Indian tribe) and 1367 (supplemental jurisdiction). The district court s ruling that it lacked jurisdiction under Section 1331 is the basis of this appeal. The Utes do not challenge the dismissal of their civil rights claims as to which they alleged Section 1343 jurisdiction. The Utes do not appear to argue that there could be Section 1362 jurisdiction here if Section 1331 jurisdiction is lacking. Likewise, the Utes do not argue that supplemental jurisdiction exists under Section 1362 if Section 1331 jurisdiction fails. Thus, the only jurisdictional question here is whether the district court properly concluded that it lacked Section 1331 jurisdiction. Becker does not dispute that the order appealed from is the order of dismissal entered August 16, 2016 or that the notice of appeal was timely filed. 1

7 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 7 STATEMENT OF ISSUES PRESENTED FOR REVIEW I. Does a federal district court have Section 1331 federal question jurisdiction to adjudicate an action for breach of a contract governed by state law between a federally-recognized Indian tribe and a non-indian because the action includes federal issues? II. Does a federal district court have Section 1331 jurisdiction to determine whether a state court has jurisdiction to adjudicate claims for breach of a contract governed by state law between a federally-recognized Indian tribe and a non-indian because the action includes federal issues? III. Does the doctrine of complete preemption create Section 1331 jurisdiction? STATEMENT OF THE CASE This appeal and the related federal, state and tribal court actions arise from what should have been a simple contract breach claim under an agreement governed by the state law of Utah. Becker and the Utes entered into an Independent Contractor Agreement ( Agreement ) in Becker agreed to provide services and the Utes agreed to pay him, including paying him 2% of the net revenue ( 2% Interest ) distributed from Ute Energy, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company that Becker assisted in creating ( Ute Energy ), to Ute Energy Holdings, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company owned originally by the tribe and non-indians 2

8 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 8 ( Ute Holdings ). The Agreement did not create or include any deed, lien, conveyance, encumbrance or interest in any tribal property, including any natural resources, energy assets, trust property or real property. The Agreement merely required the payment of 2% of specified revenue from one Delaware limited liability company to another Delaware limited liability company. When the Utes refused to pay Becker the amount of 2% Interest applicable to the distributions made in 2012, Becker brought an action in February 2013 in the United States District Court for the District of Utah in February 2013 ( First Federal Action ) to collect the promised 2% of this distribution of net revenue. Becker brought the First Federal Action in the Utah federal district court pursuant to the following provisions of the Agreement (referred to jointly below as the Waiver and Submission Provisions ): 1 Article 21. Governing Law and Forum. This Agreement and all disputes arising hereunder shall be subject to, governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Utah. All disputes arising under or relating to this Agreement shall be resolved in the United States District Court for the District of Utah. Article 23. Limited Waiver of Sovereign Immunity; Submission to Jurisdiction. If any Legal Proceeding (definition follows) should arise between the Parties hereto, the Tribe agrees to a limited waiver of the defense of sovereign immunity, to the extent such defense may be available, in order that such legal proceeding be heard and decided in accordance with the terms of this Agreement. For purposes of this Agreement, a Legal Proceeding means any judicial, administrative, or arbitration proceeding conducted pursuant to this Agreement and relating to the interpretation, breach, or enforcement of this 1 Agreement pp Appx

9 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 9 Agreement. The Tribe specifically surrenders its sovereign power to the limited extent necessary to permit the full determination of questions of fact and law and the award of appropriate remedies in any Legal Proceeding. The Parties hereto unequivocally submit to the jurisdiction of the following courts: (i) U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, and appellate courts therefrom, and (ii) if, and only if, such courts lack jurisdiction over such case, to any court of competent jurisdiction and associated appellate courts or courts with jurisdiction to review actions of such courts. The court or courts so designated shall have, to the extent that Parties can so provide, original and exclusive jurisdiction, concerning all such Legal Proceedings, and the Tribe waives any requirement of Tribal law stating that the Tribal courts have exclusive original jurisdiction over all matters involving the Tribe and waives any requirement that such Legal Proceedings be brought in Tribal Court or that Tribal remedies be exhausted. Becker alleged Section 1331 jurisdiction in the First Federal Action based upon the following federal issues: whether 25 U.S.C. 81 or 25 U.S.C required approval of the Agreement by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior; whether the Agreement was a valid Mineral Agreement under the Indian Mineral Development Act of 1982 (25 U.S.C ); whether the Utes had tribal sovereign immunity and had effectively waived that sovereign immunity; whether the Utes had effectively waived the application of tribal law to the Agreement; whether the Utes had effectively selected and surrendered to state and federal court jurisdiction relating to the Agreement; and whether the Utes had effectively waived tribal court jurisdiction and exhaustion ( First Action Federal Issues ). 2 2 Amended Complaint, First Federal Action 2, 8, 9, Appx

10 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 10 Judge Dee Benson dismissed the First Federal Action for lack of Section 1331 federal question subject matter jurisdiction, holding that, because Becker s contract claims were based solely upon state law, the federal issues were only peripherally implicated, and did not sustain federal question jurisdiction. 3 This Court affirmed the dismissal of the First Federal Action for lack of Section 1331 jurisdiction ( First Federal Appeal ) with an opinion that squarely addresses and rejects the Utes jurisdictional arguments here ( Prior Becker Decision ). 4 This Court s Prior Becker Decision held that none of the First Action Federal Issues, individually or collectively, sustained Section 1331 jurisdiction because: (1) state law, not federal law, created the cause of action; 5 and (2) the First Action Federal Issues did not satisfy the special and small category of federal issues that could create Section 1331 jurisdiction over a claim created by state law. 6 This Court held that the question whether federal statutes required federal approval for the Agreement to be valid, did not constitute Section 1331 jurisdiction even though before a non-federal court with jurisdiction those issues may turn out to be barrier[s] to the [contract s] effectuation. 7 3 Becker v. Ute Indian Tribe, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS , *3 (D. Utah, Nov. 5, 2013) 4 Becker v. Ute Indian Tribe, 770 F.3d 944 (10th Cir. 2014) F.3d at F.3d at F.3d at 948 quoting Oneida I, 414 U.S. 661, 675 (1974). 5

11 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 11 Becker then brought his claims in the Third District Court for the State of Utah ( State Court Action ) pursuant to the provisions of the Agreement that if, and only if the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, and appellate courts therefrom, also lack jurisdiction over such case, the Utes unequivocally submit to the jurisdiction of any court of competent jurisdiction and associated appellate courts. 8 By the Agreement, the Utes agreed that if federal jurisdiction of the dispute turned out to be lacking, the state court would have original and exclusive jurisdiction, concerning all such Legal Proceedings. 9 The Utes moved to dismiss the State Court Action, asserting that the Utes waiver of sovereign immunity was ineffective, that the state court was not a court of competent jurisdiction within the meaning of the Agreement, and that the state court lacked jurisdiction. Judge Lawrence rejected these arguments and denied the Utes motion to dismiss. The State Court Action is still pending, with a discovery cutoff of December 31, With the State Court Action pending, and facing a motion for terminating sanctions for refusing the state court s order to produce documents, the Utes filed 8 Agreement, Article 23. Appx Agreement Article 23. Appx 42. 6

12 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 12 this action in the Utah federal district court in mid-2016 in Utah ( Second Federal Action ) against Becker and Judge Lawrence, seeking to restrain and enjoin the State Court Action and asserting civil rights claims against Judge Lawrence. 10 U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby on August 16, 2016 denied the motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, and dismissed the Second Federal Action for lack of Section 1331 jurisdiction. This appeal followed. This memorandum shows that the Second Federal Action is blatant forum shopping by the Utes, an attempt to reverse the anti-jurisdictional positions that the Utes asserted in the First Federal Action, and an attempt to spurn the very state court that the Utes selected as the designated court to adjudicate disputes under the Agreement. Now that the Utes fear the outcome of the State Court Action, they are trying to get back into the very federal court that they challenged in the first place nearly four years ago. The Utes assertion that they have been battling for over forty years to avoid Utah state court jurisdiction 11 is belied by the fact that by the Agreement the Utes stipulated that the Utah state district court could adjudicate the Agreement if the federal district court in Utah lacked jurisdiction. 10 The Second Federal Action is the basis for the companion appeal pending in this Court, Appellants Brief 3. 7

13 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 13 STANDARD OF REVIEW This Court reviews a district court s dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction de novo. 12 SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT The Utes arguments have two fundamental flaws: (1) the Utes wholly ignore this Court s Prior Becker Opinion, which rejects and precludes most of the Utes arguments here; 13 and (2) the Utes assert arguments about the substance of issues that the district court did not decide and that are not before this Court on this appeal. The only questions on this appeal here relate to whether the district court had subject matter jurisdiction to consider those substantive issues. Were this appeal taken in good faith, the Utes should have: (1) addressed the impact of this Court s Prior Becker Opinion and shown why this Court may address issues here that were foreclosed there; and (2) explained how the proffered substantive arguments are proper here where the only issues decided below were jurisdictional issues. The Utes failure to do this is bad faith. I. No Section 1331 Jurisdiction for the Federal District Court to Adjudicate the Substantive Issues: This Court s Prior Becker Decision forecloses most of the 12 Becker v. Ute Indian Tribe, 770 F.3d 944, 946 (10th Cir. 2014). 13 Becker v. Ute Indian Tribe, 770 F.3d 944 (10th Cir. 2014). 8

14 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 14 jurisdictional arguments asserted here, and shows that the district court was correct in dismissing the Second Federal Action for lack of federal question jurisdiction. II. No Section 1331 Jurisdiction for the Federal District Court to Determine Issues Pending in the State Court: An Indian tribe s claim of immunity from state law and state-court jurisdiction does not create federal question jurisdiction. III. No Complete Preemption: The doctrine of complete preemption is not properly before the Court and does not apply here to create jurisdiction. ARGUMENT I. This Court s Prior Becker Decision Forecloses Federal Question Jurisdiction Here In the First Federal Appeal on the same issues among the same parties under the same Agreement as here, this Court held that there was no Section 1331 federal question jurisdiction. 14 Nothing has changed. There still is no federal jurisdiction. The following arguments that the Utes urge on this appeal are foreclosed by the Prior Becker Decision. The Utes most voluminous arguments are based upon Oneida I, 15 which the Utes argue is dispositive in favor of federal question jurisdiction here. These 14 Becker v. Ute Indian Tribe, 770 F.3d 944 (10th Cir. 2014). 15 City of Oneida v. Oneida Indian Nation, 414 U.S. 661, (1974) ( Oneida I ). The Utes also proffer City of Oneida v. Oneida Indian Nation, 470 U.S

15 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 15 arguments include the assertions that the district court had Section 1331 jurisdiction because 16 (1) the Agreement constituted a sufficient possessory interest in tribal trust lands to void the Agreement under federal law because the Agreement was not approved by the Secretary of the Interior; (2) federal common law and federal statutes impose restraints upon the alienation of tribal trust assets such that the Agreement was void because it violated those restraints, giving the district court had federal question jurisdiction to address the issues; (3) that the district court had jurisdiction to consider whether the 2% net revenues provision of the Agreement was a prohibited profit issuing out of the land restricted by federal law. 17 This Court s Prior Becker Decision, citing Oneida I, held that these federal issues did not create federal jurisdiction, but were merely potential barrier[s] to [the contract s] effectuation like those in Gully v. First National Bank 18 that do not sustain Section 1331 jurisdiction. 19 This Court held that, without regard to whether (1985) ( Oneida II ), but fail to show how Oneida II adds anything of significance to the jurisdictional arguments based upon Oneida I or how any arguments based upon Oneida II are not foreclosed by the Prior Becker Decision. 16 The Utes present these issues as if their substance is properly before this Court, which it is not. In order to address the jurisdictional issues, this paragraph treats the arguments as though they are asserted for their impact upon jurisdiction. 17 Appellants Brief 11-14, U.S. 109, (1936) (action under a contract governed by state law does not present federal question jurisdiction merely because federal issues, even federal statutory and Constitutional issues, may be barriers to liability) F.3d at

16 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 16 the Agreement ultimately might be held to have required Secretarial approval, 20 all of these issues suffer from the same flaw 21 namely that though these issues might be barriers to liability once adjudicated in a state court or other court with jurisdiction, the issues do not create Section 1331 subject matter jurisdiction for federal courts. The possibility that a federal statute might bar its collection was insufficient to make the case one arising under the laws of the United States. 22 The Utes assert on this appeal that 25 U.S.C. 81, 2102 and 2103 create federal question jurisdiction. 23 This Court s Prior Becker Decision specifically rejected this argument, holding that, though a court with proper jurisdiction might find that these federal statutes create a complete barrier to liability, these statutes do not create Section 1331 jurisdictional moorings. 24 Though on this appeal the Utes assert that additional federal statutes regarding Indian property and interests 25 create 20 Though the substance of the Secretarial-approval argument is irrelevant because the only issues here are whether there was jurisdiction to consider the issue which there was not the Utes cite no authority for the substantive argument that a commercial contract with an Indian tribe that promises payment of a small percentage of the distribution of revenue from a non-tribal, state-law-created entity imposes the type of interest in Indian trust lands that creates the need for Secretarial approval. 21 Becker v. Ute Indian Tribe, 770 F.3d 944, 948 (10th Cir. 2014). 22 Becker v. Ute Indian Tribe, 770 F.3d 944, 949 (10th Cir. 2014) quoting Oneida I, 414 U.S. at Appellants Brief 4, 15, F.3d at These statutes are 25 U.S.C. 177, 464, 1322 & 1326; 28 U.S.C

17 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 17 federal question jurisdiction, none of these additional statutes contains an express grant of federal jurisdiction, and the Utes offer no argument or authority that shows that these additional statutes solve the jurisdictional barrier that Sections 81, 2102 and 2103 fail to solve. In short, the reasoning of this Court s Prior Becker Decision also means that these additional statutes fail to create federal question jurisdiction here. The Utes citation of 100-year-old United States v. Noble 26 illustrates the Utes confusion about the pivotal issue here. The issue is jurisdiction, not what a court with proper jurisdiction would decide on the merits. Noble does not even discuss the basis for the district court s jurisdiction, but only substantive issues relating to interests in leases of Indian lands readily distinguishable from the substantive issues here. Noble simply says nothing of any import about the jurisdictional question that this Court articulated in 2014 in the Prior Becker Decision that controls here. A final example shows the Utes confusion of substantive issues not before this Court and the jurisdictional questions that are before the Court. The Utes argue that 28 U.S.C. 1360(a) (often referred to as Public Law 280 ) means that no state court in the 44 states that have failed to opt into the statute can adjudicate any civil U.S. 74 (1915). 12

18 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 18 action to which an Indian is a party, and no court of any of the 50 states can adjudicate any claim to any interest in any Indian property. The substance of Public Law 280 is not properly before this Court. 27 The only Public Law 280 issue here is whether the district court had jurisdiction to apply that statute. Since this statute does not create an independent grant of federal jurisdiction, this statute falls into the same category as those already addressed in the Prior Becker Decision though a court with proper jurisdiction may address the issues presented, the district court here did not have such jurisdiction, In short, the Utes fail to address the stark reality that their jurisdictional arguments have already been rejected by this Court in the Prior Becker Decision. 27 As to substance, no court has ever so interpreted this statute as the Utes urge. The statute clearly only means that nothing in this section shall confer jurisdiction upon the [opt-in] state to adjudicate matters other than the matters as to which jurisdiction is extended by the statute. But nothing in the statute suggests that the statute was intended to circumscribe any state court jurisdiction in any of the 44 states that did not opt in, nor to circumscribe the state court jurisdiction of the six opt-in states outside of the narrow jurisdiction affirmatively recognized by the statute. The Utes utterly fail to show that, even were there jurisdiction regarding Public Law 280 issues, this Court should issue a decree that would mean that no state court in any state has any jurisdiction over any civil matter to which an Indian is a party. 13

19 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 19 II. Like Immunity under Federal Law, an Indian Tribe s Asserted Immunity from State Court Jurisdiction Does Not Create Federal Question Jurisdiction The principal problem with analyzing the Utes arguments relating to state court jurisdiction 28 is that the Utes never directly address the issues of federal jurisdiction for the district court even to consider the state court issues. The district court lacked jurisdiction to address those issues. Just as a tribe s immunity from federal court jurisdiction is not an issue that creates Section 1331 jurisdiction, a tribe s asserted immunity from state court adjudication is not a federal jurisdiction-creating issue. This is squarely established by Oklahoma Tax Commission v. Graham 29 and State of Oklahoma ex rel. Oklahoma Tax Commission v. Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma, 30 both of which affirm that a 28 The other problems are that the substantive state-court issues that the Utes ask the federal court to decree are so bizarre. For example, the Utes argue that for 40 years they have been fighting to disempower Utah state courts from adjudicating any civil matter relating to the Utes. They fail, then, to explain how this can be so in light of the fact that they entered into an Agreement with Becker that disavowed the power of the tribal court to adjudicate Agreement disputes, and agreed that if the federal court lacked jurisdiction, then the Utah state courts the only remaining possible court of competent jurisdiction to which the parties could have referred when they designated empowered courts were designated as the forum to adjudicate the Agreement U.S. 838, 841 (1989) F.2d 1449 (10th Cir. 1990) (a state-law issue does not create Section 1331 jurisdiction merely because tribal sovereign immunity may bar the claim). 14

20 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 20 federal court lacks jurisdiction to bar a state court action merely because tribal sovereign immunity may bar the claim in state court. The Utes attempts to distinguish these cases fail. The Utes argue 31 that these cases do not preclude federal jurisdiction here because the only federal issue in those cases was tribal sovereign immunity, whereas this action involves numerous federal statutes regulation of the alienation of tribal property. But this Court has clearly held in its Prior Becker Decision that those issues, like the assertion of tribal sovereign immunity, do not create federal jurisdiction. 32 III. There Is No Complete Preemption Here The Utes argue that the doctrine of complete preemption creates Section 1331 jurisdiction. This argument should be rejected for three reasons. First, the argument was not properly before the district court, and is therefore not properly before this court. The Utes raised complete preemption for the first time in their reply memorandum, when the issue had not been raised by Becker, in violation of prohibition of DUCivR 7-1(b)(2)(A) that reply memoranda must be limited to rebuttal of matters raised in the memorandum opposing the motion Appellants Brief Becker v. Ute Indian Tribe, 770 F.3d 944, (10th Cir. 2014). 33 Ruling, Appx

21 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 21 Second, the argument is wrong. The complaint in this action seeking a declaration judgment is not the complaint within the meaning of the well-pleaded complaint rule. The dynamics of the well-pleaded complaint rule change in the context of a declaratory-judgment action where the position of the parties is reverse[d] [and] the plaintiff[s] [the Utes] assert[] a defense to an action by the declaratory judgment defendant [Becker]. In this situation, [i]t is the character of [Becker s] action, not [the Utes ] defense, that determines whether there is federal question jurisdiction. 34 This Court s Prior Becker Decision establishes that Becker s complaint, and therefore the complaint in this action under the proper application of the well-pleaded complaint rule, does not arise under federal law within the meaning of Section Third, even if the Utes complaint were deemed the relevant complaint for assessing jurisdiction, the complaint does not qualify for complete preemption, which this Court has characterized as a rare doctrine that represents extraordinary pre-emptive power. 35 No authority suggests that an action for a declaratory judgment about federal regulations allegedly relating to a contract governed by state 34 Devon v. Energy Production Co. v. Mosaic Potash Carlsbad, Inc., (10th Cir. 2012), quoting Cardtoons, L.C. v. Major League Baseball Players Ass n., 95 F.3d 959, 964 (10th Cir. 1996). 35 Devon v. Energy Production Co. v. Mosaic Potash Carlsbad, Inc., (10th Cir. 2012), quoting Community State Bank v. Strong, 651 F.3d 1241, 1260 n.16 (11 th Cir. 2011). 16

22 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 22 law is so completely and extraordinarily federal that complete preemption should apply. CONCLUSION Appellee Lynn Becker respectfully requests that the Court affirm the judgment of dismissal of the district court and remand the action to the district court for the award of attorney fees. 36 ORAL ARGUMENT Pursuant to Fed. R. App. P. 24, Becker requests oral argument. Date: December 5, 2016 ISOM LAW FIRM PLLC 299 South Main Street, Suite 1300 Salt Lake City, Utah Telephone: (801) By: /s/david K. Isom David K. Isom (Utah 4773) Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellant Lynn D. Becker 36 The Agreement requires the Utes to pay Becker s attorney fees. Article 14A. Appx

23 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 23 CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE This brief complies with the type-volume limitation of Fed. R. App. P. 32(a)(7) because the brief contains less than 4,500 words. This brief complies with the typeface requirements of Fed. R. App. R. 32(a)(5) and the style requirements of Fed. R. App. P. 32(a)(6) because this brief has been prepared in a proportionally spaced typeface using Microsoft Office Word 2013 in Times New Roman, 14-point font. /s/ David K. Isom 18

24 Appellate Case: Document: Date Filed: 12/05/2016 Page: 24 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I certify that the foregoing Appellee s Brief was served upon all parties by ECF this 5 th day of December, I hereby certify that seven paper copies of the foregoing Appellee s Brief were delivered to a courier service for overnight delivery addressed as follows: Clerk of the Court, Byron White U.S. Courthouse, 1823 Stout Street, Denver, Colorado /s/ David K. Isom 19

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